Fundraisers back historic Israeli eye hospital

GOOD JOB HE WENT TO SPECSAVERS! -- Rotary Club president Richard White gets his glasses checked out by Stephen Archer, of Specsavers, watched by Richard's daughter, Kathryn (left), of St John Ambulance, and Vicki Bainbridge, of Specsavers ' DISPIC NHUD12-0946-1
GOOD JOB HE WENT TO SPECSAVERS! -- Rotary Club president Richard White gets his glasses checked out by Stephen Archer, of Specsavers, watched by Richard's daughter, Kathryn (left), of St John Ambulance, and Vicki Bainbridge, of Specsavers ' DISPIC NHUD12-0946-1

A LIFELINE eye-hospital thousands of miles away in the holy city of Jerusalem has received a £2,000 boost from a fundraiser in Hucknall.

The event was the brainchild of Kate White, of Hucknall, who is an assistant youth leader with St John Ambulance.

She wanted to collect money on behalf of the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem, Israel, which has been dealing with sight problems and eye conditions in the West Bank since 1882.

Seymour Road Baptist Church, where the Hucknall and Linby branch of St John Ambulance meets, played host to the event.

A presentation was given by Francis Smyth, of the Order of St John, on work done at the hospital, including some through outreach initiatives in poverty-stricken areas.

It treats thousands of patients every year, from babies to pensioners, irrespective of race, creed or ability to pay.

A team from the Specsavers store on Hucknall High Street was on hand to offer advice and information on common eye conditions and also carried out free maintenance os spectacles.

Other attractions included a raffle and tombola, supported by local businesses.

The night was sponsored by Hucknall Rotary Club, of which Kate’s father, Richard White, is the current president.

A total of £800 was raised on the night. This was increased to £1,000 by a donation from Rotary.

The amount was then doubled through a link-up with the Santander bank.

The money, which will be presented to St John Ambulance, will pay for two pieces of equipment for the hospital, The rate of blindness in Israel is ten times higher than in developed countries.

Richard said: “It was a fantastic night and we had such a lot of support.

“The money will make a difference to such a wonderful cause that has been fighting eye conditions for more than 100 years.”

The team from Specsavers included retail director Vicki Bainbridge, who gave a talk, and optometrist Stephen Archer, who answered questions about eye care.

Vicki said: “We were delighted to take part in the event.

“We wanted to give something back to the people who had very generously donated their time and money.”